Spontaneous Brillouin scattering is an inelastic scattering process arising from inherent thermal density fluctuations, or acoustic phonons, propagating in a medium. Over the last few years, Brillouin spectroscopy has shown great potential to become a reliable non-invasive diagnostic tool due to its unique capability of retrieving viscoelastic properties of materials such as strain and stiffness. The detection of the weak scattered light, in addition to the resolution of the Brillouin peaks (typically shifted by few GHz from the central peak) represent one of the greatest challenges in Brillouin. The recent development of high sensitivity CCD cameras has brought Brillouin spectroscopy from a point sampling technique to a new imaging modality. Furthermore, the application of Virtually Imaged Phased Array (VIPA) etalons has dramatically reduced insertion loss simultaneously allowing fast (<1s) collection of the entire spectrum. Hitherto Brillouin microscopy has been shown the ability to provide unique stiffness maps of biological samples, such as the human lens, in a non-destructive manner. In this work, we present results obtained using our Brillouin microscope to map the stiffness variations in the walls of blood vessels in particular when atherosclerotic plaques are formed. The stiffness of the membrane that covers the plaques is critical in developing acute myocardial infarction yet it is not currently possible to credibly assess its stiffness due to lack of suitable methods.
Giuseppe Antonacci, Ryan Pedrigi, Rob Krams, and Peter Török, "Quantification of plaque stiffness by Brillouin microscopy
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9710, Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics III, 97100J (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2228312.4848678012001.
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